Week 6: Practice Pitch Week

This week we put every bit of our work together to make the presentation. It was personally challenging for me to review what I wrote so many times and present live it. So the research part was halted.

Group contributions: presentation effort

This week started with the retrospective session from the previous week. 

Next, we agreed to focus on the presentation, and each member helped pursue it as the main activity. Nural took the leadership and organised the presentation structure, choosing the tool to be used. We contributed to the disposition of the topics and scripting what everyone would present.

Initially, we decided to start by presenting the world, then the gameplay, ML application, art, UI/UX, and closing using the business numbers. After that, each one got responsible for producing any content needed. We thought it would give an excellent overview of what we were building.

On action that was particularly valuable was to watch the presentation of the other teams Tuesday night. It helped us to review what we were about to present and how to present it. Based on most of the feedback given at that session, we realised that our presentation would become better if we first focused on the gameplay and presenting the game by itself. So we worked on Wednesday and Thursday to change the order of the presentation. This effort allowed us to produce a better “presentation”, but we didn’t focus on the record it previously; however, we trained together to make it live.

In general, the feedback that we received was nice. We started the presentation a little bit nervous because we had a technical issue with the tool chosen to present and the integration with the conference platform. However, the live presentation was well-coordinated, and we got satisfied with the given feedbacks. 

In general, the order of the presentation was well received. Although we lack depth at the world description, it was well-received since we continuously worked on this aspect of the game, and it wasn’t finished.

The reviewers praised my confidence in the machine learning part, and this compliment made me very happy. I was particularly nervous due to my speaking skills. The disturbing part was related to the efficacy of the usage of ML applied to the gameplay and how it would be valuable to the player experience in general. It was a topic that I was already questioning and echoed my perspective of the current work.

In between one of the sessions, I noticed some tension between some team members, some divergence, I believe. It puzzled me, but I didn’t have enough information to take any action. From previous work experiences, usually, conflict signals emerge before stressful situations like this week activity. And from previous experiences, they tend to be divisions mark at the team performance, be potentially beneficial or harmful. I believed that so diverse group with that difference in interest would be challenging, but I thought that we had a healthful interaction at the moment. 

Personal development: how to pitch

This week I didn’t have much time to focus on the Machine Learning part. Instead, I invested most of my time crafting and polishing my bits of the presentation. I found some hard times explaining my progress as best as possible and transforming it into a series of slides and a script to follow.

The first personal challenge was transforming my work in progress into just a small series of slides. Some of my notes saved some effort, but in general, I had to write and rewrite a couple of times, so the ideas became clear enough to me or made sense. 

I mainly followed a guide from the internet and RealWORKS. However, since I never cared about this topic, I got lost in the number of available resources.

Although my initial confusion, I framed three particular goals:

  1. The presentation should be clear for an educated audience so that I would avoid the usage of too technical slang or terminology;
  2. I need to speak as straightforward as possible; since I’m not a native speaker, this part contributed to my tension;
  3. Attempted to present only the valuable information that I had

Hiding my jitters was the hardest part. But in the end, it was fine. What made me much more uncomfortable was that I’m still learning a lot about those subjects. So it was a different situation than I live at my job, where I have much more domain of what I’m doing, and consequently, I’m more comfortable. 

Conclusions: live presentation vs recorded and feedback feelings

The presentation experience was indubitably unique. I got thrilled and challenged. I also found it particularly useful to push my level of knowledge. However, in the end, the feedback made me unsure about the results that I’m capable of presenting. From the previous module, I feel much more confident to focus on creating games, good or bad, that why I’m here to build more and better games and investing so much effort in ML might not be coherent with my personal goals.


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